Travel Diary
Kitzbuhel - Austria
Saturday September 6th 2014
Hi everyone! I'm finally adding my travel diary from my vacation to Austria last month. I don't want it to be too boring, or too much like a photo album with directions, nor do I want to turn it into a tutorial on all things Austrian. What I do want to do is write up my holiday, excursion by excursion and hopefully add a little humor to the mix.

I do want to add a little piece here about my first impressions of the flight and resort, just to add a little excitement to the diary. The flight was fine - if you think flying on something that resembles a giant mechano kit is fun. To be fair, all things considered, I had plenty of legroom on the plane, not something I always get.

So, we landed in Salzburg airport and there's no mistaking where you are, there can't be many airports where the views are mountains and fir trees! Not to mention the German signs everywhere! First impression though was wow! Just a few lungfuls of the alpine air and I felt healthier!

I had a coach transfer from the airport to the hotel and whereas on a beach holiday you feel like you can sit back and sleep on the transfer (I could've done on this one too I suppose), the 360' views and the mix of modern and traditional keeps your eyes peeled and wide awake. An hour and 15 to an hour and 20 minutes later I arrived at the Hotel Jagerwirt and again my jaw dropped - no exaggeration. From the balconies covered in window boxes full of flowers to the mountain views surrounding Kitzbuhel - stunning!

So, I got checked in and was shown to my room on the 3rd floor, a sweet little single room with a great balcony and good sized en suite. After unpacking and doing an outfit change so fast any good popstar would be impressed (yes, I did freshen up too), I made my way to the restaurant for my first taste of Austria.
I never thought I would be grateful for a four course dinner, but after being awake since 6am that morning, spending all that time travelling to the resort, I was famished. What was the food like? I can hear you asking. I'll tell you - amazing.

You start with an appetizer course, which on the first night was a Marinated sausage dish (full vegetarian options available), this was followed by either a consommé or cream of vegetable soup with fresh bread. You then had the main course, mine first main was braised leg of lamb with a potato gratin and creamed spinach - delicious! The dessert was an ice cream stuffed pancake/crepe smothered in warm chocolate sauce - my gods was it good!

For me it was an early night and then up for a breakfast of scambled eggs, sausages and toast with fresh coffee and then a Welcome Walkabout with the rep, Jodie to see Kitzbuhel and get to know my way around, back to the hotel just in time to walk to the bus stop* to pick up the coach on my first excursion.

* the Im Gries bus stop is the main pick up point for excursions and guests staying at all the hotels around Kitzbuhel use this stop for their pick ups too. From the Jagerwirt, the bus stop is around a 10-15 minute walk.

The lovely little pic I've added here is Krimml Waterfalls, the largest falls in Europe (fact - over 40,000 liters of water goes over the falls each second!). This was my first excursion of the holiday, the next day after I arrived in Kitzbuhel. The afternoon excursion takes you along the mountain roads and through the town of Mittelsee, famed for their Ski manufacture and then on to the falls. When you get to the falls, you can follow the path and walk to the top of the falls for the spectacular scenery - be warned though, the sloping paths aren't easy to navigate and go up at quite an incline so good shoes, maybe a set of walking poles and possibly a new set of lungs required for the jaunt up to the top of the falls!

If you don't fancy testing yourself (and seeing just how unfit you are - huffing like a bellows for twenty minutes is so not sexy), you can go down to the bottom of the falls and feel the healing spray of the water from there. Either way, you have beautiful views of the falls and when you're ready to eat, I'd recommend the Apple Strudel from the café there. The piece of Strudel I had was the size of a house brick and the whippy cream could have re-glaciered an ice cap. Beautiful though, warm and tasted like the best apple pie you've ever had!

Back to the hotel and the evening meal was an Italian buffet - continental starter, followed by soup and then buffet style main where you could choose from spaghetti, ravioli, lasagna, fish, turkey, 3 different pasta sauces - delicious and so filling!

So that's days 1 and 2. Come back later and i'll be talking to you about Kitzbuhel town, the hotel pool and whirlpool and my 2nd excursion of the trip - Grossglockner.

Take care, and as always, Keep reading! Emma xx

Our guide for the day said that Austria is made up of 50% mountains and 50% trees and that the humans have simply built houses in the valleys and on any spare land that there was left. From the stunning scenery I can see why! - don't think I'm scrimping on the photo's, I'll be adding more as I go along.
Monday, September 8
 As I wrote this entry, I was sat on the balcony of my room and just watching the world go by, Austria style. The sun was high in the sky and the mountain view I had was simply stunning. 
So I was sat there writing the diary, letting my breakfast of grilled bacon,toast and scrambled eggs go down and wondering what I was going to do with my first day to myself (no excursions to keep me busy). 
I had planned to check out the sauna- I'm partial to a good steam, but reading the hotel info in the room,I discovered like any good European country, you're not allowed to wear a swimming costume in the sauna or Turkish bath, only a towel is permitted. Well, I'm sure you can imagine my horror-going in a sauna in nothing but a towel might be a dream to some, but for those of us with a little more than an inch to pinch the towels don't really help with leaving the imagination to itself. So I resigned myself to remaining firmly in my rather fashionable all in one neck to kneecap swim attire (I wish- was just a normal one piece) and spending an hour or so in and out of the heated pool/whirlpool. 
After a lovely session in the pool I was good and refreshed enough to make my way into the main shopping area of Kitzbuhel- souvenirs for family is a must.
Tuesday, September 9
today with excursion number to grossglockner.
an early breakfast followed by a walk down to the im gries bus stop to get the coach to take me on an excursion to grossglockner, Austria's highest mountain at 3,798 metres (quite a few feet above sea level).
another scenic drive out to mittalsell and then through zell am see and ever onwards the winding mountain roads to the hairpin turns are a must for the  thrillseekers, cyclists and motorists alike, but not for the fainthearted. 
Once at the mountain, 2hours were allowed for exploring the souvenir shops and form capturing the panoramic views. (A note here: just be mindfulnif shopping for souvenirs- the shops sell the same in the town as they do on the mountain, but they charge you more for the gifts on the mountain.)

On the way back to Kitzbuhel, we were allowed an hour in Zell am see to seems a look around the town. Very pretty and right on the lakeside.

So mountain excursion done, very winding roads behind and now to face the next of the four course dinners...good job you can decline a course if you don't want it. A trick I found useful as the holiday went on. Cream of potato soup, to start and then onto the farmers buffet. You had a choice of terrines, pâtés, you name it. The treat was the owner of the hotel, Alex on carving duty with the roast meats..pork,chicken,turkey,gammon...the list goes on! This is one evening that I skipped dessert I was so full!

They say everything looks more dramatic in the mountains, well the thunder and lightning storm that seemed to follow us down the grossglockner certainly proved that!

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